The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a rising star in the comedy world, an acclaimed pianist performing a free solo concert, the kickoff of a new jazz series, and a longstanding favorite of the folk-roots jam scene.
Comedian Chris Gethard, familiar to audiences from his appearances on TV shows including The Office, Parks and Recreation, Broad City, and Louie, brings his blend of slightly nerdy, slightly angry, cerebral standup comedy to Club B-10 at MASS MoCA in North Adams on Saturday at 8pm. Gethard’s program is a ticketed event that caps MASS MoCA’s annual Free Day, which takes place on Saturday from 11am to 7pm.
Award-winning pianist Anne Chamberlain performs works by Debussy, Scriabin, and Berg plus contemporary works in a solo piano concert in the Kellogg Music Center at Simon’s Rock College in Great Barrington on Sunday at 3:30 pm. Chamberlain will also perform works by Stefan Wolpe, Martin Brody, and Ursula Mamlok. The concert is free and open to the public.
Jazz pianist and composer Dan Tepfer and the International Contemporary Ensemble combine forces as Acoustic Informatics in a world premiere performance to kick off the new Catskill Jazz series at the Fisher Center at Bard College tonight at 8pm, in the LUMA Theater. Joining Tepfer for this program are ICE musicians Joshua Rubin on clarinet; Rebekah Heller on bassoon; Alice Teyssier on flute; and Ryan Muncy on saxophone.
Folk-rock quintet Donna the Buffalo helps Club Helsinki Hudson celebrate its 20th anniversary with a program of its original folk-roots jams next Thursday, February 4, at 8pm. When Donna the Buffalo began performing at folk and roots-music festivals in 1989, there wasn’t even a genre called "Americana." The group's easygoing, jam-friendly brand of rock with roots influences in zydeco, country, blues, folk and Appalachian music anticipated much of today's trendy Americana sounds, while still appealing to a fanatically loyal base of followers called "The Herd." Anyone who has ever enjoyed grooving to the rhythms of the Grateful Dead, Los Lobos or the Band will immediately appreciate the organic grooves of Donna the Buffalo, still led after all these years by founding songwriter-vocalists and multi-instrumentalists Jeb Puryear and Tara Nevins.
Seth Rogovoy is editor of Berkshire Daily and the Rogovoy Report, available online at rogovoyreport.com